Friday, December 28, 2012

Mar Vista Farmers' Market Pest Control Handout

An adult lady bug from The Learning Garden

Insect Control That Really Works
  1. Stop spraying poisons – especially 'organic' ones – organic pesticides are 'full-spectrum' meaning they kill a wide variety of insects the entire time they are active. They do not discriminate between your harmful insects and lady bugs, honey bees or other insects we rely on for help.
  2. Have plants in bloom throughout the growing season – in our part of the US that means something in bloom 365 days a year – to provide adult beneficial insects with forage so they will stay around.
  3. Set your own personal 'threshold limits' of acceptable damage to your produce – the higher your threshold limit, the least intervention you will do. The threshold limit will vary by crop – if you are desperate to have loads of peppers, you will allow less damage to the peppers than to broccoli which you might be ambivalent about.
  4. Patrol your garden frequently to spot harmful insects in their initial stages before they are a bigger problem.
  5. Use barriers to prevent infestations before they start
  6. Yank plants that refuse to thrive or use them as pest attractants to build up populations of beneficial insects by providing them with available food.
  7. Patience, which is free, is more valuable than a ton of poison.

Using insecticides
  1. Supports the oil industry – all those pesticides are formulated in oil-based products.
  2. Makes you at war with nature – and you can never win!
  3. Kills the biology in the soil even if it fails to control the 'bad' insect.
  4. Probably kills more beneficial insects than the ones you are targeting.
  5. Leads to the unreal expectation of 'perfect food' which is often just a visual lie.

    Aphids and Gardenmaster From The Learning Garden


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  2. Hi,

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    Learning Gardening